Why Soft Skills Are Important to Advance Your Career?

If you look at a typical job vacancy advert, you may find that soft skills aren’t usually explicitly mentioned or where they are mentioned, the emphasis is less compared to the descriptions for technical skills.

Despite this, it would be a big mistake to assume that soft skills in the workplace are irrelevant or less valuable than technical skills.

At some point in your career, you might have come across another staff member that was excellent in technical, job-specific skills, but maybe they couldn’t manage their time well, they could not work within a team, or they just couldn’t get along with other staff members. Chances are high that they did not last long on the job despite their other skills.

Below we’ll discuss what soft skills are and why they are necessary for workers in all industries and businesses.

Defining Soft Skills and Their Importance

Soft skills are the non-technical, usually innate skills, that relate to how you work. They are also called “people skills,” and they include skills like how you relate with colleagues, your problem-solving abilities, and how you manage your time.

Soft skills enable you to fit in at a workplace. They are partly influenced by your personality, attitude, and manners. Soft skills are so important that they are oftentimes the reason why a prospective employer decides to choose one candidate over the other at a job interview.

Why Soft Skills Are Important to Advance Your Career?

If you look at a typical job vacancy advert, you may find that soft skills aren’t usually explicitly mentioned or where they are mentioned, the emphasis is less compared to the descriptions for technical skills.

Despite this, it would be a big mistake to assume that soft skills in the workplace are irrelevant or less valuable than technical skills.

At some point in your career, you might have come across another staff member that was excellent in technical, job-specific skills, but maybe they couldn’t manage their time well, they could not work within a team, or they just couldn’t get along with other staff members. Chances are high that they did not last long on the job despite their other skills.

Below we’ll discuss what soft skills are and why they are necessary for workers in all industries and businesses.

Defining Soft Skills and Their Importance

Soft skills are the non-technical, usually innate skills, that relate to how you work. They are also called “people skills,” and they include skills like how you relate with colleagues, your problem-solving abilities, and how you manage your time.

Soft skills enable you to fit in at a workplace. They are partly influenced by your personality, attitude, and manners. Soft skills are so important that they are oftentimes the reason why a prospective employer decides to choose one candidate over the other at a job interview.

Hard-Skills-Soft-Skills

Source: IONOS

Soft skills are different from hard skills (also known as technical skills), which are directly relevant to the job you are applying for. Hard skills are often more quantifiable and easier to teach than soft skills.

A hard skill for a maintenance supervisor, for example, might be the ability to use maintenance software. In contrast, a soft skill for the same position would be the ability to communicate effectively with coworkers and clients.

According to SHRM Survey Findings, hiring managers typically look for job candidates with soft skills since these skills make people more successful in the workplace.

So if you lack soft skills, you are more likely to face barriers even at the job hunting stage.

Top-10-Soft-Skills

Source: WikiJob

Based on the image above, let’s look at just two of the key soft skills for the workplace:

  • Communication: When people learn how to communicate and work better with others, they immediately become happier and more successful. In the long term, communication and other soft skills allow people to make better decisions and overcome challenges. These are especially important skills in the workplace. Added to that, it’s important to point out that communication goes beyond talking to people or passing along information. It includes listening, observing, and speaking.

  • Teamwork: The inability to work in a team can end your career quickly. As Dr. Marion Steel, the Course Director for the Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University states, it can cause other problems as well such as organizational inefficiency.

How Soft Skills impact Leadership and Managerial Positions

As time passes and an organization grows, workers identified with better soft skills are more likely candidates for leadership and C-suite positions than their peers.

All good leaders require a number of soft skills to help them positively interact with employees or team members and improve their chances of climbing the corporate ladder

After considering all the above, you may be wondering how to improve your soft skills, which takes us to the next section.

Improving your Soft Skills

Organizations sometimes mistakenly assume that the people they hire will know how to behave with other staff on the job. However, this is not always the case. Training and re-training a company’s workforce on soft skills is still vital.

Although soft skills are more personality-based, you can still improve them through different routes, such as:

  • Feedback: Be open to feedback and constructive criticism from your colleagues, supervisors, and managers. These are people that work with you daily. They are in an ideal position to observe you and provide the information to help you improve. As you receive their feedback, you can gradually improve and learn.

  • Soft skills assessment tests: Several scientifically designed soft skills assessment tests and tools are available to help you analyze yourself and check if you have the desired soft skills for a position.

  • Soft skills training: This requires studying all or some of the soft skills mentioned above via standardized online or offline training programs so that you are empowered to apply them effectively at work.

By the time you’ve gone through feedback, tests, and training, you should be in a better position to demonstrate your soft skills in the workplace or in a new job search. In addition, your improved soft skills proficiency would be beneficial on your resume.

In Conclusion

Your technical skills are important but they amount to little if you don’t work well with others.

Ultimately, balance is advisable. Focusing on only soft skills or hard skills alone will not help you to advance your career as desired. Rather, what works better would be a mix of both sets of skills.

Using hard skills to achieve operational efficiency and to get the job done while using soft skills to create a conducive work environment for you and everyone else.

Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy-to-use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.